Health ministry to close loophole allowing sale of 775 'herbs'

TOKYO —

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is to change the legal designation of 775 quasi-legal drugs in a plan to combat the growing use of “herbs” in Japan.

The smoking of “haabu” (herbs), or loophole drugs, sometimes containing hallucinogens, has been a growing problem in Japan in recent years. The unregulated products have caused serious health problems, and even death, while the law has been struggling to catch up.

In order to more effectively control the sale and possession of the huge variety of these drugs in circulation, the health ministry on Thursday announced plans to make 775 varieties of synthetic cannabis illegal.

The ministry said this latest change in the law covers a large number of “herbs,” containing 90 separate stimulants and hallucinogens, in an attempt to more comprehensively deal with the problem.

The change in the law will come into effect from February next year, the ministry said. Those found guilty of producing or selling the drugs after that time could face a fine or a prison sentence.

Japan Today

  • 0

    some14some

    Those found guilty of producing or selling the drugs after that time could face a fine or a prison sentence

    ofcourse they will not be rewarded...so vague? very lax punishment, me guess. .

  • 1

    AKBfan

    Guess I'll just have to drink more now.

  • 2

    edbardoe

    More drugs to be illegal? Will likely be more available as illegal and the money will go to organized crime. Works great here in the states as a way to fill up the prisons.

  • 3

    Disillusioned

    Wow! You watch this stuff disappear off the bong shop shelves and onto the black market creating yet another underground trade.

  • 0

    volland

    Stop complaining.... The Health Ministry is taken care of the really important issues that the country has.... Why should the Health Ministry be any differnet than the rest of the government, or the country?

  • 1

    Penfold

    Now all those kids looking for some "haabu" will have to go to some dodgy dealer who will probably sell them something much harder.

  • -1

    Albert Johnson

    @Penfold kids shouldn't be smoking that crap to begin with

  • 2

    JapanGal

    Legalize marijuana, as it is much safer.

  • 1

    Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    Completely legalize real marijuana and people won't turn to this dangerous crap.

  • 2

    Valmain

    What a bunch of crap. Go ahead, legalize 10,000 herbs. People will just find more to use, or just go underground for the real stuff. These herbs will never be on the black market as their meant to be legal alternatives to the illegal ones.

    Plus, in a lot of cases it's not even the herb that is the issue! In a lot of cases like Spice, it's a chemical that's sprayed on to the herb and not even the herb itself. If you don't make the chemical compound illegal then it's pointless, you can still just spray the stuff on any old tobacco.

  • -2

    YuriOtani

    yes make marijuana legal and the problem will go away

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